Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Miniature Embroidery Completed!


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My miniature embroidery trial project is finished! Overall, I liked working on it – a lot!! As with most projects, now that it’s finished, I can take a retrospective view on the experience and conclude that, sure, there are a few things I’d change if doing it again… but overall, I’m pretty happy with the wee thing.

For this little piece, I used 48 count Alabaster Angel from Legacy Linen. The design comes from a Sweetheart Tree kit I picked up while on vacation a couple years ago. In the original kit, the fabric was a 28 count pink checkered linen, which was to be stitched over 2 threads. If the piece were stitched by the kit directions, the final project would be between five and six inches square.

I used one thread of DMC in the colors recommended for the kit. Unfortunately, the beads included with the kit (Mill Hill Petites) were too large to include!

Miniature Embroidery

The finished size of the embroidery is just barely shy of 1.5″ x 1.5″. I used the tent stitch (half cross stitch) for the whole piece.

Miniature Embroidery

In needlepoint, which generally makes regular use of tent stitch, the stitches are generally always worked in one direction. However, I found that, when adapting a cross stitch design – especially one with different parts pointing in four different directions in the corners – it is acceptable, wise, a good idea, necessary even, to change the direction of the tent stitch… I figured that out a bit late with some parts of the design.

Miniature Embroidery

In the original kit, the inside of the parallel lines that make up the central diamond is filled with Algerian Eye stitch worked in white. I suppose I could have been a bit adventurous and filled in the diamond thus, but I liked it better as it is. I though the filling stitches would crowd the piece too much.

Now, for another treat, here’s a photo Ginger sent of a miniature coverlet, stitched in surface embroidery stitches. She took the photo at a museum, where the curator allowed her to. The silver stitching and the silver lace on the edge are really nice, and I love the fact that it is all regular surface embroidery! What fun! Imagine the time that went into this tiny thing…

Miniature Embroidery

Thanks, Ginger, for sending the photo. I’ve replied in the usual place…! Sorry! I’m looking into getting that problem fixed!

I suppose most miniature embroidery is done for doll houses. I, on the other hand, intend to frame and hang this little piece, along with Christiana’s sampler!

Speaking of framing miniature embroidery, here’s an excellent tutorial by Larry at Wood’n Bits on making miniature frames for embroidery. He takes you step-by-step through making tiny frames which you can then mount silk gauze onto, and stitch, and, when you’re finished stitching, you have a framed piece. It’s a great tutorial. He continued it with another post on more miniature frames, which he sells – take a look!

And finally, speaking of silk gauze, once upon a time, I thought I had a link to somewhere online that offers 72 gauge silk gauze. Of course, I’ve lost the link… but to wonder if I imagined it? Does silk gauze come in such a fine mesh? Anyone know? and if so, would you happen to know where I can find some? I think I like this little stuff – not for looooong term, on-going embroidery, trust me! But for fun little projects, I like going micro!


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(18) Comments

  1. I admire sooooo much who has the patience to make such a little work! I have no more eyes for that.

    Speaking about eyes: i remember you have written about good lamps but I can’t find the post.Are you so kind to give me a track?

    and thanks so much for your kind words – the recipe is already in the air 🙂

  2. Wow! What a labor of love! I enjoy reading about people who are pushing the limits of possibility with their creations, so thank you so much for sharing this. I look forward to seeing them framed!

  3. It’s gorgeous!

    I do have one question though–what is that light line that runs through the center flower and to each edge?

    Thanks! You do so much to broaden my horizons…

  4. hi Mary….I’m so glad you received the coverlet picture. Forgot to say that it is about
    7″ x 7″, yes for a dollshouse.

    Yes, 70 mesh is still available, also 84. And, would you believe, the ladies in England of the Miniature Needlework Society go with 120!!! Goodness knows what sort of needles and thread they use!

    I saw a classic looking floral done on 120 and it truly looked like a painting. Also clothing for a Queen Eliz doll and, I have to say, it’s the only time in my long life of stitching that I truly coveted someone else’s work.

    For silk gauze in high numbers, try micro-stitchery.com
    also CrissCross Row(not sure of address so Google it)

    Stitch on, Ginger

  5. Needle In a Haystack carries 66ct silk gauze. I’m going up there tomorrow and can find out if they have smaller gauge as well.
    I’ve really been enjoying your blog. Drawn thread and goldwork are two techniques I’ve just recently tried so it’s been nice to read your more in-depth coverage of the topics.

  6. Funny you should ask about that line….

    It’s actually in the design – the blank line in the flower – but strangely enough, it corresponds with a slub in the linen, so you can see the continuation of the line across the left side of the diamond. I think, if there were some stitching in the middle of the center flower there, instead of a blank line, the eye wouldn’t be drawn to follow the slub. But alas, it is.

    It bugs me, too, actually. Rinsing the linen in water and ironing may adjust the stitches on the slub (over to the left) may help tweek them into a regular position… we’ll see…..

  7. This is unbelievable, Mary!!!
    What meticulous work…

    Doesn’t Kreinik carry silk gauze?
    Go to their website and see….

  8. You did such incredible work on this piece that I can’t quite visualize its true size! The picture looks like a full-size embroidery!

  9. Until seeing the postage stamp next to it I realize now I had no concept of how tiny it was from the 15 minute progress diaries. Wow!!

  10. This was so interesting. Mary, your project and Ginger’s were beautiful. I appreciate the framing information, too. I LOVE this blog; I check in to it every day. Thank you so much.

  11. Thanks, Allie! I haven’t checked Kreinik – but I will. I was pretty excited to find the 100 ct gauze at micro-stitchery. Neat stuff! And they have great (little) patterns, too….

    Thanks, Christi – it was fun to work, though it does have its rough spots…!!

    Michelle, I’m glad you like my website! Thanks for the compliment – of course, the coverlet… now THAT is great! I’d love to try something like that one day. Hmm… I’ll just put it on my ever-expanding list!


  12. I like coming here and reading both the blog and the comments! I’ve gotten so much useful information here. One was where to get a slate frame. Love the 3 I bought from him! Only change in the directions you posted is I use dowels in bias tape attached to work then lace to frame.

    I love miniatures! But I’m doing between 1/3 and 2.54 scale. Still small but easier on my eyesight!


  13. Love your sampler! I'm going to work a piece in the same count -an Elizabethan Coif Pattern from Laura Mellin and am wondering what kind of needle you used?

  14. HI, Thanks for your comment! I think – if I remember correctly – I used a #28 tapestry needle…

    I'm pretty sure that's the case!

    Best regards,

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